There won’t be any twist in the C7 case. Anyone hoping that the Seven Network will tell us next week if it intends appealing the C7 case, will be disappointed. There won’t be any twist in the C7 case. Seven will stonewall on what it plans to do legally about a possible appeal as no decision is required before 21 days after final orders which makes it October at a minimum. The parts of the C7 decision dealing with section 45 of the Trade Practices Act are looming as areas where an appeal might be based. Some in legal circles are wondering if there could be a partial replay of the 1996 Super League case where the decision of Justice Burchett was overturned on appeal. One of the appeal judges was Justice Sackville. Seven is due to produce its 2007 report next Tuesday. One thing is certain Kerry Stokes won’t be appealing in his personal capacity. He can’t. He has no standing in the case because he was a witness, not a party. Nor is he disappointed in the way the case was argued by Seven’s legal team and its court representatives. Stokes feels comfortable with how the case was handled. He is just disappointed in the outcome. Seven is keeping the other parties guessing as to what it will do. As pointed out on numerous occasions in the past Seven has been expensing its side of the costs in the C7 case. As the decision stands it faces paying the costs of its opponents. We won’t know what Seven will do until early October. But after paying and writing off around $100 million of its own costs, an appeal would cost perhaps a few million dollars at the most which would be hard to criticize commercially given what Seven now faces in potential costs orders not to mention the original action decision. So it could be well afforded. One fruitful area for a possible appeal might by Justice Ronald Sackville’s findings in relation to section 45 of the Trade Practices Act. That involved Telstra and others, such as News Ltd. Justice Sackville’s invoking the “failing firm” doctrine in the case of Optus Vision (a massive enterprise well funded) which several legal commentators have raised an eyebrow at. His comments in this area is an area that is attracting attention for a possible appeal. The irony is that Optus itself is reportedly disappointed with where it has ended up under the content Sharing Agreement (back in 2002) which is the effective merger with Foxtel that is at the heart of the action and leaves Optus as a distributor for Foxtel and Telstra. And Kerry Stokes is never one to die wondering. — Glenn Dyer
Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Only 11 programs with a million or more viewers, starting with Sea Patrol on Nine with 1.581 million. It has settled down now with the audience 20% off from the opening level. Seven News was a solid second with 1.488 million people, Getaway was again solid for Seven at 7.30pm with 1.380 million and Today Tonight was 4th with 1.377 million people. Home And Away won 7pm with 1.317 million, A Current Affair was 6th with 1.194 million and Temptation was next with 1.167 million people. Nine News was 8th with 1.144 million, That ’70s Show on Seven from 7.30 m to 8.30pm averaged 1.052 million. Ten’s Law And Order came back with 1.050 million at 9.30pm.The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.035 million people for the 11th and final slot in the million viewer group last night. The Footy Shows added up to 984,000 (and nearly half of those were in Melbourne). The repeat of Law and Order Criminal Intent at 8.30pm was watched by 974,000, and beaten by the returning fresh ep of the original an hour later.
The Losers: Losers? Seven’s Las Vegas, 849,000. It’s the program itself and the subject matter that troubles me. The fact that the finale of Brat Camp (888,000) beat Las Vegas tells you that some viewers share my feelings. Las Vegas segued into the year’s dumbest program (More than What A Year on Nine) and that was Age of Love with The Poo. The fact is he’s just too young for TV and needs some sort of babysitter, (isn’t what the program is about?) 418,000 people tuned in from 10.20pm. Suckers. Rexy wasn’t a loser at 7.30 pm on SBS, even though he was a repeat. He was watched by 468,000 people. Beats the Poo! Ten again had three Simpsons repeats, a Futurama repeat and the CI repeat in prime time last night! From 7pm to 9.30 every program was a repeat.
News & CA: Seven News again won nationally. In Melbourne Seven and Nine News drew. Today Tonight won everywhere bar Melbourne. Ten News At Five averaged 840,000, the Late News/Sports Tonight 464,000. Nine’s Nightline 165,000 at 11.30 buried after Ralph TV at 11pm with 312,000. Why bother with Nightline if a bit of T&A telly is thought more important than news? The 7.30 Report, 861,000, Lateline, 282,000, Lateline Business, 185,000 (good coverage of yesterday and why the ABC remains important as a news source). World News Australia on SBS, 162,000 at 6.30pm, 175,000 at 9.30pm 7am Sunrise 364,000, 7am Today, 269,000. (400,000 plus audiences for Sunrise are becoming infrequent these days. Time for Mr Boland to refocus?). The Morning Show back over 200,000 with 207,000. KAK at 9am is given as 130,000, with 11,000 in Adelaide and the same in Perth. Is this real because Susie was supposed to have replaced KAK on the two WIN stations? 9am With David & Kim 102,000.
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The Stats: Nine won with a share of 31.9% (33.7% last week) from Seven with 25.6% (26.6%), Ten was third with 21.8% (18.7%), the ABC was on 15.2% (15.7%) and SBS with 5.5% (5.3%). Nine won all metros except Perth. Seven still leads the week by 27.4% Nine on 27.0%. last week Nine had passed Seven thanks to its Thursday night win, so Seven will win the week. In regional areas a win to WIN/NBN with 30.5%, from Prime/7Qld with 27.2%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.2%, the ABC on 13.5% and SBS on 6.6%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Sea Patrol did the job again for Nine but Seven remains just a smidge in front and will win the week thanks to the AFL tonight. And for the second week in a row it will be Eddie McGuire who will help get Seven home over Nine. Collingwood plays Melbourne tonight for the AFL game on Seven and that will mean a big audience down south. Just like last week when the Wobbles played. Eddie wants big audiences for Collingwood and he would no doubt be happy, but isn’t there a tiny bit of conflict there, he with his $5 million a year wage? The AFL Footy Show with 429,000 people dominated the program’s national audience last night of 984,000. The Sydney and Brisbane programs (221,000, 103,000 respectively) were also rans and were like a bad night at the local leagues club. No one finds it interesting, or funny. No wonder the Sea Patrol audience doesn’t stay around to watch the NRL program, but they do in Melbourne.There is a message for Nine in that which they don’t seem to be hearing. The big event of the weekend will be the return of Kath and Kim to Seven Sunday night at 7.30 to 8pm and what it does to the night’s viewing. And will Seven’s experiment of running it up against idol and 60 Minutes work, and will the next program, My Name Is Earl, hold the audience? Seven has a good movie at 8.30pm, Meet The Fockers; Nine has CSI and then CSI New York in fresh eps (how odd) and the ABC has that monster, lurking in the schedules, the slow moving Midsomer Murders. Ten has Rove after Idol and then the splodge, sorry, The Wedge. At 10.40 Ten has a program, Mark Holden, Live at The George. Really, he sings does he instead of pouts on Idol, or is that another Mark Holden? And who’s the senior Nine Network executive (Not Jeff Browne or Garry Linnell) said to be on the hunt for something more interesting?